Wounded Lions look to Farrell against Crusaders

The Lions must now move on to face the Crusaders on Saturday - a side boasting a ideal 14 wins from 14 Super Rugby matches this term.

All Blacks great John Kirwan has dismissed claims that British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland is one-dimensional, saying his former team-mate brings an "X-factor" to the touring squad.

The next stop for the Lions will be to face the Crusaders in Canterbury on Saturday - a team boasting a flawless 14 wins from 14 matches in Super Rugby this term.

"I don't think there is going to be a lot of difference between some of the Super Rugby sides and the All Blacks", said Gatland. "Credit to West for his try but we have got to get better at stopping the offloading game".

Just as the tourists looked to have seized the momentum with a 16-15 lead over the lowest-placed Kiwi Super Rugby side, West put on the afterburners to race to the line after being set free by offloads from Steven Luatua and Sonny Bill Williams.

The Crusaders have named a strong side which features an All Black tight five of Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Luke Romano and captain Sam Whitelock.

However, the head coach revealed that the Lions - under fire since their defeat to the Blues yesterday morning - are holding things back, knowing they have to keep some parts of their game secret until the First Test, in Auckland on June 24.

Hansen said: "I just think Warren was trying a bit of humour after struggling a wee bit with his press conference before".

A third Leigh Halfpenny penalty had restored the Lions' lead only for an incisive Ihaia West try to hand the Blues a victory which condemned Gatland's outfit to their first tour defeat of 2017.

"Physically, we've been good, we've matched them".

"Going into the Test series, it will be good for us to get some dominance there".

MacDonald says they have overcome similar methods from Super Rugby rivals this season, one reason why they boast a flawless 14-win record.

Tour captain Sam Warburton has said they would not beat the All Blacks in the three-test series unless they scored more than 20 points per game. They certainly have found something after three incredible comebacks in their first four matches, and one for the ages against the Highlanders in Christchurch last weekend.

Team: S Hogg; G North, J Davies; B Te'o, L Williams; O Farrell; C Murray; M Vunipola, J George, T Furlong; AW Jones (capt), G Kruis; P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, T Faletau. "We wouldn't do it", he said.

Watch Crusaders v Lions live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 8am on Saturday.

"We've got to jump straight back on the horse, big game down in Christchurch on Saturday", Owen added.

The All Blacks boss also said that Gatland's theory was a response to the flak the Lions head coach had taken after showing irritation at the ongoing debate around "Warrenball".

  • Julie Sanders